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Youngsters on mission to raise £40,000 for charitable trip to Tanzania

A group from the Bishops Youth Council from the Diocese of Leicester will be travelling to Mount Kilimanjaro to work with charity Tearfund to help the local community and meet other Christians to find out how life is different for a Tanzanian Anglican.

Sophia Iqbal, 15, is the chair of the committee and will be travelling with a group of around 20 people including a mixture of adults and youngsters. They will be leaving the country on July 28 of this year and will be returning on August 10.

So far the group have raised an estimated £20,000 through various fundraising events including organising non-uniform days, bag packing at the weekends and organising quiz nights for their local community.

“My diary is booked up every weekend as we’re doing something different,” said Sophia. Talking about the trip, she added: “It will be a great experience. I’ll be 16 then and it’s something that not many people get to do. It’s a really good way to open your eyes to other worlds and understand how different people live. 

“It’s the first time I’ll be away in Africa and I’m definitely looking forward to meeting the people there as I’ve heard a lot about them and how they’re really nice. We’re also hoping to go on a safari while we’re out there which I’m quite looking forward to, as it’s always been my mum’s dream.”

Currently in year 11 at English Martyrs’ Catholic School in Leicester, Sophia is completing her GCSEs and looking forward to studying all three sciences and mathematics when she heads to college next year, to fulfill her dream of becoming a chemical engineer.

Her Christian faith has always been a big part of her life, and speaking about this, she said: “I’ve grown up a Christian and it is at the heart of our family life and what we do. We go to church and it’s really important to not only say you’re a Christian, but to live it. So, doing things like going to another country and meeting other Christians is really going to help me and my faith because I can see how they get along with life as well as their faith.”

For more information or to donate to the fund, visit the Bishops Youth Council Go to Tanzania 2013 page on Facebook.